Dixie M. Samaniego
In between being... y no.
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
Soy Latina y Chicana, pero my identity includes so much more. It hasn’t always been easy for me to feel accepted within the Latinx community. Truth be told I have struggled to feel accepted, para muchos soy pocha, for Americans I’m too Mexican. I found myself in the middle of being too this, and not enough that, and I didn’t get to even decide. For far too long my identity has had an “under construction” sign hanging from it, it’s so weird to think about that as I’m so proud of being Latina AND Chicana. Tengo tanto orgullo de ser.
It’s funny to me that for my family members and the Latinx community I’m too American when in the states I have only ever been Latina/Mexicana. When I was young I never knew that it was different to speak Spanish at home… to eat carne asada… to watch telenovelas every weeknight after finishing homework. I never knew that families could help their children in English, or that families could help their children with school work period. I grew up como Latina, como Mexicana pero for mi gente it didn't seem like enough.
In school, I have been forced to take things into my own hands and fight for myself. When I was young I took English proficiency exams every year until I passed it, all because of the language I learned first, mi lenguaje bello, Spanish. In high school, I fought to be put into AP/Honors and early college courses, I would go and speak to the teachers because my counselor wouldn’t put me into them for fear that I would fail them… I received A’s in the majority of those courses. I graduated high school one year ago in 2019 as the first person in my family to do so and I have an older sibling. In college, I struggle with feeling supported by my own family, the number of times I have been made felt that I should dropout is actually mindblowing. It is an understatement to say I am badass, I am inspiring, and I am defying the odds over and over again.
La verdad es que my identity kind of still has an “under construction” sign hanging from it. I am continuously realizing things about my own experience as a Brown woman, again, that’s so weird to admit. I didn’t even realize how much I had gone through just to be at a university… what I’ve written is only an itty bitty piece of it. What I do know is that I am a proud and powerful Latina y Chicana with a lot to say and do in this world.